Venezuela condemns 'permanent US aggression'

July 31, 2011

Venezuelan foreign affairs minister Nicolas Maduro has criticised the US government for having an “absurd and extremist” policy with regards to Venezuela.

Maduro made the comments after the publication of a report in late July that outlines the US government’s tactics for dealing with transnational criminal organisations.

The document cites Venezuela as a country that promotes a “permissive environment for narco-trafficking and terrorist organisations”.

Venezuela’s government has consistently maintained that the US is singling out Venezuela for political reasons. It accuses the US government of having a hypocritical attitude with regards to its own record on human rights, terrorism and narco-trafficking.

Maduro said: “We strongly reject the steps taken by the ultra-right-wing, which pulls a good part of Congress and the US government towards an absurd and extremist policy against Latin America and against our nation, hoping to attack and intimidate us.”

He added that the US had adopted a policy of “permanent aggression” towards Venezuela.

On July 20, the House Committee on Foreign Relations also voted 22 to 20 to withdraw this year’s funding of US$48.5 million to the Organization of American States. It did so on the basis that the organisation is supposedly controlled by left-wing states such as Venezuela and Cuba.

The House Committee also passed multiple amendments to the Foreign Relations Authorisation Act, including cutting off all US aid to the governments of Argentina, Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Venezuela.

It also cut off US aid to those countries that oppose the US more than 50% of the time in the United Nations.

US President Barack Obama’s travel reforms allowing increased travel to Cuba were also retracted.

Republican Representative Connie Mack, who spearheaded some of the amendments, said: “The five amendments passed through the full committee will send the right message from our government through the region, in the absence of any coherent foreign policy from this Administration.

“Prohibiting taxpayer dollars from corrupt governments like Venezuela and Nicaragua, while helping our allies, is the right approach.”

Mack was also influential in engineering US sanctions against Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA in May. He has consistently demanded that Venezuela be named on the “state sponsor of terrorism” list.

The Senate and the House of Representatives will have to vote on the amendments before they are approved.

On July 27, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez condemned the US government’s stance towards Venezuela after US military chief, Admiral Mike Mullen, expressed “concern” over Venezuela's relationship with Iran.

“Go and worry about your own affairs, decadent empire,” said Chavez. He also dismissed US conservative Roger Noriega’s claims that he is suffering from an advanced form of cancer and has 18 months to live.

“This is all just feeding the macabre show of the right wing,” he said. “Here, the sub-imperial right wing keeps repeating that I don’t even have anything, that my illness is just a show, a strategy mounted by Chavez and Fidel Castro.

“I will be standing as the candidate for the 2012 elections and I will win.”

[Reprinted from .]

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